Skinned cats spark investigation in Oregon City

UPDATE: Reward for information is over $2,500 and counting

Oregon City Police believe two cases of mutilated cats on Hilltop are connected and hope to crack the case before another incident occurs.

In both cases, passersby found the head and upper body missing from a cat whose skin had been peeled down toward the tail.

'They clearly look to be identical incidents, because of the the way that they were mutilated, and they also look like they could be related cats, because of the similarity of their coloring,' said Lt. Jim Band.

OCPD and Meow Village, a cat rescue organization, set up a reward fund of $200 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the mutilation, and the donation fund swelled over $2,500 in about a week (see below for info).

On Saturday, June 11, remains of a dead cat were found in the St. Johns Cemetery, 451 Warner St., in Oregon City. On Thursday, June 23, another mutilated cat was found at Hillendale Park, 19260 Clairmont Way, in Oregon City.

Police want citizens to report anyone approaching cats in their neighborhoods or possibly some other suspicious behavior. It is also possible that friends or family of the suspect would have seen some behaviors that would be useful to the investigation. police said.

Both animals appear to have been adult cats, dark gray with white socks. The hair of both cats was medium in length.

Anybody who is missing a cat with a matching description is encouraged to contact the Oregon City Police Department.

Police say the case could carry a charge of aggravated animal abuse, a felony committed when someone maliciously kills or intentionally tortures an animal.

Meow Village has also set up an account with US Bank for anyone who wants to donate towards the reward. Contributions to the reward fund can be made at any US Bank in the name of "Reward for Mutilated Cat" fund. Persons can also contribute by calling Meow Village reward organizer Richard Grow at 503-939-1466.

Anyone with information about the mutilation of the cats can call the OCPD tip line at 503-496-1616.